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US rules out treaty alliance with India, says that era is over

US President Obama waves to the audience after he delivered a speech at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi

Washington: The US has ruled out any kind of treaty alliance with India, saying the 21st century is not an era of alliances and a mutual agreeable concept of major defence partner is a very apt description for India.

“21st century is not an era of alliances. It is an era of identifying interest, common values and working together in solving all those problems. I do not think that anyone in the United States Government or the Indian Government has any compulsion at all to form a treaty alliance,” said Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), White House.

He was responding to a question at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a top American think-tank.

“Why have that shackle (of being a treaty alliance). I think, the friends that benefit from that are probably satisfactory. I would highlight a phrase that should not be underestimates – Major Defence Partner (with India),” he said.

“There was an understanding, growing perception that we have been doing so much together that we have expanded, deepened the boundaries of co-operation. But there was no brand or phrase or some term that qualified what this relationship is about. I think, the mutual agreeable concept of major defence partner is a very apt description,” he said.

“It was largely driven by the extent of deepening co-operation. India achieves success rate of 99 per cent in licenses applied for. That is really astounding. Other kinds of technology is being transferred much more easily and readily than ever before. So there are very significant changes to our own policies and rules and procedures that enabled this defence partnership,” Lavoy said.

Lavoy said even before India places a request for something, the United States is ready and prepared.

“Well before a challenge arise, we are already working with India to try to prevent the things from occurring,” he said.

“Each of the (US) departments have installed in them the critical importance of this partnership and have internalised thinking about India’s interest, thinking about our joint interest as a driving force and how we do business. That is completely transformational. That was not the case even in the beginning of the Obama Administration,” he said.

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